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You and your students should find much value in these ideas and in the practices they engender. Barton, Ellen, Ellen Halter, Nancy McGee, and Lisa McNeilley.
Inside Out: Devel- opmental Strategies for Teaching Writing. Dialogue Journals in the Multilingual Classroom: Building Language Fluency and Writing Skills through Written Interaction. Time to Know Them: A Longitudinal Study of Writing and Learning at the College Level. The magic key is what our students want, and on some level it is also what we as writing instructors want. None of us really wants the five-paragraph essay, but without careful structuring, a course in writing that emphasizes process can achieve just that sort of re- ductionism. This problem resonates in my experience as a teacher of first- year composition at Saint Louis University. SLU is a Roman Catholic, Jesuit university of about ten thousand students. The ERIC - 223 - 251 SUPPORTING PRACTICES profile of first-year students indicates that 33 percent of our stu- dents come from the top 10 percent of their high school graduat- ing class, and that 91 percent of them were at least in the top 50 percent. One of my better writing students once sheepishly con- fided that best place to buy research paper she always wrote her essays the night before they were due.
She seemed embarrassed by the fact that she was not fol- lowing the prescribed process.
When I suggested to her that al- though she sat down to write the night before, perhaps she had been thinking about the paper and planning it in her head all week, it was as if a lightbulb exploded over her head. The object of this exercise is to force the students to think self-reflexively about their own individual processes of writing.
Early in the semester, students typically resist this assignment.
Each student buy essay papers cheap takes control of her or his own writing by recognizing and engaging with the individual process and best place to buy research paper mak- ing it work for him or her. At the end of the semester, they have compiled a number of writing assignments of varying lengths and purposes. They have written one- to two-page responses to their reading assignments (about eighteen total), three four- to six-page research essays on 225 SUPPORTING PRACTICES three different general topics (which vary by semester), and peer responses (both given and received), in addition to their process essays for all major assignments.
I ask them to cull these writing assignments and put together a Web portfolio. The Web portfolio is a modification of the traditional port- folio of student work, but the hypertext medium offers some decided advantages over the hard-copy version. Theoretically, the reading of hypertext is endlessly recursive, con- tinually building a structure and then modifying it as readers navigate varying paths (Douglas 1994, 161). In this sense, it mir- rors the recursiveness of the writing process, with each revision generating changes in thought and expression.
Another important aspect of the Web portfolio is that con- siderations of audience are more obviously essential to success- ful Web writing. John Morkes and Jakob Nielsen draw three main content-oriented conclusions from their work in hypertext de- sign and reading.
ERIC - 226 - Reading the Writing Process on the Web they prefer the text to be short and to the point, so writers need to hone and winnow, emphasizing word choices that are con- crete, vivid, and precise.
Thus, writers for the Web cannot afford to fall back on those long- winded and overgeneralized phrases that less experienced writ- ers use while trying to decide what they really want to say. By incorporating elements of image, sound, graphics, and color, students literally build concrete ex- pressions of personality and voice into their texts. This opportunity for a wider audience has been key for my students in opening their work to best place to buy research paper critique from the class as a whole, rather than depending on me as the instructor to pass judgment on the final version. Although peer responding sessions and group projects give them a glimpse of varying reader responses to their work, I find that they still tend to fall back on my reactions as more central to revising strat- egies.
With the Web project, students seem to get a clearer sense that their peers are the final arbiters of effectiveness: the evaluation is no longer a private one between instructor and student. A Web project of this nature is necessarily complicated, and its success or failure is dependent on the focus of the course as a whole. It involves creating a Web document with some depth, a clear idea of purpose, and careful attention to the mechanics of organization and outlining to obtain the desired effect.
Assessing themselves as writers and researchers is a difficult task for stu- dents. Unless they can become adept at self-conscious assessment of their writing, they will not have the necessary perspective for cohesive purpose. Successful best place to buy research paper completion of this assignment de- mands an awareness of the underpinnings of their writing process - 227 - SUPPORTING PRACTICES — identification of what they are doing right (and wrong) — and the ability to invent strategies to capitalize on their strengths as writers while minimizing or eliminating weaknesses. The homepage itself offers students a firsthand look at the benefits of outlining and organization. The index page should demonstrate a clear controlling purpose and be organized with an eye to guiding readers quickly and efficiently through the docu- ment. In short, the homepage should contain all of the same kinds of information, coherence, and documentation in the form of links to particular essays students have written as any well-conceived traditional essay. The object of the writingjs the same, but the medium forces the writer to look at the actual construction in novel ways. This project requires some technological expertise on the part of both students and instructor. Creating a detailed Web page demands either a knowledge pf HTML coding, access to Web publishing software, or access to one of the newer word proces- sors. Its format is nearly identi- cal to Word, and thus students who are fairly adept at using any word-processing program need only minimal instruction to use it.